Dangerous Over-reactions to the Recent Mass Shootings [Video]

Gun control

The recent mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, Ohio this past weekend have once again turned the political spotlight on the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Left always has its attacks primed for these eventualities, and as usual, their arguments are forceful demonstrations of folly.

Of course, that does not discourage the Left from screechings at conservatives, directly blaming President Trump, to calling for completely unconstitutional measures that would demonstrably violate the 2nd Amendment. None of those actions are unexpected from the Leftist core believers as well as their political shills.

This journal has warned before of the danger of trying to infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans. In this instance, the danger may be taking a surprising twist.

What is surprising, and alarming, is the reaction of some conservative law-makers and frankly, some statements from President Trump himself. He gave a critical speech about the shootings and gave some proposals which are ostensibly tailored to help reduce or prevent such horrific happenings in the future.

However, before I delve into the President’s words, I need to confront the absolute false narrative of the Left that Trump is a racist white supremacist and responsible for the shootings. Those on the Left, at whatever level of government or media they exist, are simply lying to advance their evil agenda.

Trump’s speech more clearly than ever should have satisfied the most ardent critics that he is not a racist or a white supremacist. He could not have more forcefully denounced both claims on a comprehensive level, but that doesn’t stop the malicious Left from lying about him and trying to silence him.

Not only has President Trump never said the racist things the Left keeps lying about, but his actions also demonstrate that he is not racist in any way. He spoke with sincerity, grace, and firmness in his response to the shootings.

His speech contained many statements that were both correct and consoling to the victims of these shootings. However, some of the proposed “solutions” are cause for real concern.

A Warning About The Mental Health Warning

Mass shootingsPresident Trump called for legal action which would deny the possession of firearms to people who are determined to be ‘mentally ill,’ in some manner. This certainly sounds like a reasonable proposition, however, as with many such measures, it is far more complicated and fraught with danger than most realize.

The first problem is akin to almost any type of government ‘solution’ proposed to almost any problem in society, the problem of abuse. It is not stretching the truth to say that for most laws if someone wants to abuse it in their favor, they can find a way to get what they want.

There are already forms of such laws denying firearms to those deemed mentally ill in certain places around America. One example is Florida’s “Baker Act” law, which provides for temporary commitment to a mental institution up to 72 hours with a minimum of due process.

The Baker Act is an existing law that provides for temporary institutionalization of individuals who meet certain criteria. It can only be used by specific authorized persons, including judges, mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, and doctors. More importantly, the law is limited by the fact that those officials must have sound evidence suggesting that the individual might meet the Act’s definition for mental illness. In addition, he must pose a risk of harm to himself or others – or demonstrate self-neglect.

With this existing statute, there are at least some reasonable legal safeguards determining who can be subject to being held in custody. For instance,

people cannot be involuntarily institutionalized simply because they’re acting strangely, refuse to seek psychiatric examinations, or have occasional mood swings or outbursts.

The questions looming over this new proposal is ‘On what basis, and by whom, is someone to be declared too mentally ill to keep freedom and their 2nd Amendment rights?’ Moreover, if the existing measures are not adequate now, how far is the government willing to go to in this area?

Perhaps more frightening and direct measures will be deemed necessary. Which brings us to another, and more concerning subject, the idea of so-called ‘Red Flag’ laws.

The Red Flags About ‘Red Flag’ Laws

Gun control laws‘Red Flag’ gun laws function as gun confiscation orders. In his speech, President Trump called them “extreme risk protection orders.”

They are designed to deny access to, or possession, of firearms to those deemed at extreme risk to commit violence with those firearms. They could be deemed as an ‘at extreme risk’ individual according to certain ‘red flags’ which those close to the person had determined might be dangerous.

John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and an expert on ‘Red Flag’ laws commented on the nature of these laws during an interview on “The Buck Sexton Show,” from August 5, 2019.

You’re trying to predict whether somebody’s going to go and commit a crime. …It’s kind of like the old Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report,” without the psychics.

This moves beyond the mental illness warning criteria to include things such as criminal history when evaluating whether or not someone should have a firearm. However, as Mr. Lott also points out, we already have access to criminal records and felonies as well as some misdemeanors already disqualify a person from owning a gun, so this is superfluous.

The potential for abuse lies in the additional legal measures these laws propose in order to confiscate someone’s guns. Some have suggested that simple arrests, even without a conviction, should be considered as possible ‘red flags’ to trigger the seizure of firearms.

The abuse comes into play easily when, for example, a disgruntled spouse or employee is the target. They can be essentially flagged as a threat to commit violence on the say-so of someone who doesn’t like them and is looking for an excuse to punish the offending party.

Some might ask, ‘Won’t these individuals be assessed by mental health professionals?’ Even if that is true, the record of mental health professionals in predicting future criminal behavior is abysmal. As author Rob Morse notes,

Psychiatrists who have access to complete medical records often have to assess if a patient will be violent. They make that assessment for the safety of the patient and for the safety of hospital staff. These doctors make the correct prediction 60% of the time when they are predicting behavior for the next 24 hours. That means they are slightly better than flipping a coin while they are looking a day into the future. Psychiatrists have no idea if the patient will be violent in the next week, the next month, or the next year. These highly educated and dedicated specialists can’t predict the future. That record will get worse as red-flag laws let non-professionals disarm near strangers with a phone call.

Moreover, this could easily result in making situations worse rather than better. Morse goes on to make this salient point.

Concealed carry holders are several times less likely than the police to shoot innocent people. Who is at risk when the police knock in the dark of night to confiscate legally owned firearms?

The danger of this becoming law is rapidly coming upon us, as Senator Lindsey Graham is already proposing ‘red-flag’ legislation. No details of his plan are available at present, except that he makes a point of mentioning that Trump seemed ‘supportive’ of it.

The Hate Crime ‘Death Penalty’ Threat

Inset.3.8.8.2019This is perhaps the most disturbing part of President Trump’s address. In a brief but powerful sentence, he called for the death penalty for both mass shooters those who commit “hate crimes.”

Admittedly, there is little time in such a short speech to elaborate on the meaning of this declaration. No real details about the proposal were presented there.

The danger lies within the very nature of the ‘hate crime’ designation. It is far too ambiguous a label to use for this extremely important issue.

The current legal definition of a hate crime according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation is,

…a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

The FBI is quick to add that hate itself is not a crime, and thus they are committed to also protecting a person’s right to free speech. To be blunt, the FBI has not inspired a lot of trust among regular Americans since the exposure of their spying operations against a sitting president and the hate their operatives have displayed against Trump and his supporters.

So please forgive me if the assurances of the FBI do not really reassure me at this point. Moreover, the expansion of hate crime accusations and arrests in many nations are alarming, to say the least.

In fact, in 2013 the Canadian Supreme Court actually declared that certain types of religious speech qualify as hate crimes. In this case, it involved biblical speech against teaching homosexuality in public schools.

Should such offenses as these be punishable by death? Or would that only apply to certain groups in society, perhaps of the Christian variety?

Lest one think that this could not happen in America, consider this. In 2012, just seven years ago, no one was even considering banning people from social media for ‘misgendering’ a transgender man who claimed he was a woman.

Real Problems and Solutions Are Ignored

Inset.4.8.8.2019The true tragedy of this is that there are real problems with the amount of gun violence overall, and some real solutions to them which are being completely ignored while potshots are being taken at the 2nd Amendment, pun intended.

For example, in just the cases of mass shootings in the United States, one factor is more common in all of them since Colombine in 1999. The environment of the home and family.

If there’s a thread, it’s young men whose biological father was missing in their lives. After the Parkland school massacre in Florida, the Heritage Foundation cited a study showing that among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Most, according to psychologist Peter Langman, an expert on school shooters, came from homes that also experienced infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence and child abuse.

It’s not racism, not ‘white supremacy,’ not even mental health, video games, and certainly not those who support the 2nd Amendment the most, law-abiding gun owners! It’s the absence of a father in the home.

Isn’t it strange how this particular metric is also a great predictor of criminal activity as well as mentally disturbed behavior? For instance, witness these statistics,

  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)

  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)

Perhaps our political leaders should focus more on that very real problem if they aim to slow gun violence and violence itself in society. In fact, a large number of problems could be ameliorated if more families remained intact, but that is fodder for another time.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:25 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top image courtesy of Maryland GovPics Flickr page -Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Barrett Cook’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Obama44worst ever’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Paul Schreiber’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the mother of everything.

Without sacrifice, you can’t get what you want in your life.

Your success always demands great sacrifice from you.

Are you ready for that?

Ask yourself.

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Struggle

Life is all about struggle.

You never live without struggle.

Life begins with a struggle.

Life ends with a struggle.

Struggle is the part of our life.

A mother struggles to give birth to her child.

Every living creature struggles for survival.

Struggle is the rule of life.

If you struggle to get something today,

Tomorrow or in your near future, you’ll receive your grand rewards.

Don’t scare to struggle.

Enjoy your struggle and hug it like your true pal.

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Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

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Religious Persecution

Religious persecution is a never-ending battle. Innocent Christians are crucified every day in the name of God for believing in a higher way of life. On our home turf, distance protects us; yet examples around the world appear in our own living room. If only everyone would come to terms with God’s peace! My heart remains in remorse over the wrong direction we are heading today. But, amongst these times of terror, the steadfast still walk with Jesus to praise and spread the Lord’s words of hope. Blessed be the faithful!

Some may not be aware my wife did missionary work in Guinea, West Africa for the International Mission Board. Her humanitarian efforts served the Susu tribes where they dug wells for fresh water. She also held a Vacation Bible School for pre-school children in the capital city of Conakry. Her living arrangement was in a compound enclosed with a fifteen-foot cement wall and broken bottles placed on top for safety. Two security guards stood guard twenty-four hours a day. Amidst the 110 degree weather, lack of fresh running water, recurring power outages, illness from vaccine shots, and contaminated foods, she and her group forged onward; it was necessary for the Islamists to know God loves everyone.

Missionary meeting a woman with AIDS in Susu tribes
My wife and aides meeting town people of Conakry
Teaching Susu tribes how to use their new wells

But, months of pre-planning and training was mandatory before she could enter Africa. The World Mission Boards warns missionaries to be careful who you speak to, not to look militants in the eye, and to dress in public as one of the crowd. They could not take for granted the deep commitment the Soussou had to their own religion. Not everyone finds peace in the spirit of Christian voodoo where God is the last word. Amid the incomprehension of entering a Third World country, she boarded an airplane with a round-trip ticket and the church’s prayer for her safe return. God bless our missionaries!

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)

By God’s mercy, my wife was one of the lucky few to serve and leave Africa without incident. The internet is filled with stories of those murdered in the hands of the Peace Corps and other religious affiliations. It is obvious Christians still walk, today, in the suffering Christ paid for our sins. China and Pakistan, for example, recently suffered mass genocides and burnings of their churches. Bangladesh murders secular activists and Christians, more or less with impunity. Statistics reveal North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iraq, and Syria persecute Christians more than any other faith group. Making matters worse, governments in the West and the UN do not offer emergency help to victims.

With the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants and other foreigners into the United States, the religious tide is shifting dramatically here too. Bibles, crosses, and our churches are burned; they ban even Christmas trees and greeting cards in some areas. I wonder what Jesus would think if He walked our world today?

In biblical days, Jesus also suffered much religious persecution. He toured a radius of forty miles around Nazareth preaching His Father’s word and often hid in different lands for His protection. Unlike my wife, who stayed behind a cement wall, His temporary home was in a cave or the middle of a desert. But as in today’s times, very few people believed He was the Messiah, only those who witnessed His miracles. What words or actions does one need to see to prove God really exists? It’s not about color or creed, but receiving the grand prize – eternal life in heaven!

To the families who lost loved ones in the oppression of trusting in God’s greatness, have faith knowing persecution and true Christianity are inseparable. Jesus died on the cross for our sins – even for those who denounced His existence. Missionaries and all other Christians must realize God warns His righteous saints they will be persecuted for believing in Him.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

Have solace for your loved ones, and others who served the Lord, and believe in His name because they will be forever in His presence. If I had to lose my life for someone, let it be for Jesus! It would not be in vain for mercy reigns over ignorance! For two thousand years, believers have fought the war of standing up for God. Many procrastinate changing their life’s sins for the anticipation of the return of Christ Jesus. With the love the Lord placed in my heart, I bleed for those who choose not to concede before they die. Fathers, mothers, sisters and sons, Christ sent you a personal invitation to live in heaven with Him. What are you waiting for? It’s in you! Open your eyes and listen to your soul. Let the books of the Gospel lead your spirit for they are not fiction but the genealogy of your life.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Quintessence of Faith

She stood under the cross motionless and watched her son’s holy blood dripping upon her feet. Bitterness and tremendous grief overwhelmed her soul while she stayed with Him until the last minute. The reverence of heaven exists as we can only imagine what it’s like to witness your child brutally crucified at the hands of haters. But, Mary, according to scriptures, remained passive and resisted the temptation to protest the unfairness of Jesus’ prosecution.

It is often said there is nothing worse than outliving your child. I can attest to this as I watched my grandmother sob while her son laid dying on a hospital bed. I can only imagine Mary’s anguish as she witnessed the excruciating pain Jesus suffered from the stakes in His feet and hands. In her glorious strength, still, Mary fought off her own inhibitions to be first, a mother. She knew she would make the ultimate sacrifice when she accepted God’s invitation to give birth to a Savior for Simeon warned her of Jesus’ fate.

Mary was the quintessence of faith in God. As an inexperienced, pregnant mother, she knew the truth about her son’s existence. It was her destiny to deliver a child who would save the world. Throughout Jesus’ life, Mary often feared for her son’s life, but her intuition spoke He was in God’s hands. However, on Good Friday, she must have questioned why Jesus was sent to earth to save sinners, only to be killed by them. I’m sure she also wasn’t prepared for the method of His brutal death.

It is my observation, though, Mary is to be the ultimate example of strength for parents who lose their child to senseless religious crimes. When we defend our Creator, it becomes a movement towards the only ray of light which exists in this world’s darkness. We stand under the cross to eliminate chaos and bitterness, spreading the love of God. How can it be wrong?

Mary could have easily fallen into the trap of screaming and attacking evil-doers at the presence of Jesus’s injustice. But, she walked with loyalty to the Lord in gentleness, forgiveness, and peace.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

What a model of discipleship Mary portrays to Christians today! Let us stand in strength, under the weight of the cross, and resist the shadows of evil.

Praise His holy name! www.danabicksauthor.com

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Is killing another allowed?

We have read how before the coming of the universal Declaration of Human Rights, people, especially leaders used to eliminate their enemies and anyone who stood on their way in order to consolidate their grip on power.

With the advent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this odious practice dramatically dropped.

Is it raising its ugly head again? That is the nagging fear. And so these questions arise:

Is killing another allowed? Is killing a solution? Should we kill in order to grab power? Retain power? Should we kill those who stand on our way in business or politics?

The sixth Commandment of God stated in black and white in the Bible is unequivocal, “Thou shall not kill”.

Doesn’t that include political killing? And killing of business rivals?

It includes all forms of killing. It cannot be more strongly articulated. Killing no matter the reason is unacceptable. We humans have no right to take away human life for any reason.

By the way, no one kills and goes unpunished. The karma law, the law of retribution is alive and active. Those who go by the sword perish by the sword.

Hence, if you are killing, assisting someone to kill, or idly standing by and watching while someone is being killed , remember the sixth commandment:

“Thou shall not kill.”